Office for People With Developmental Disabilities

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Rowena Graef

REGION: 2 – Broome
Rowena Graef

Position: Motor Vehicle Operator

Years of Service: 34+


Rowena says her favorite part of the job is interacting with all of the individuals.


Her supervisor Brian Heaney, Developmental Disabilities Program Specialist I, says Rowena was selected as a nominee due to the genuine commitment she has toward the individuals she serves. She often is observed putting their needs before her own. This was evidenced by her coming to work the very next day after her apartment caught on fire.

“What sets Rowena apart from others is the fact that she always goes out of her way to help out,” Heaney says. “She is willing to drive individuals into the community, if needed. She also keeps up the monthly decorations on the artificial tree at Day Habilitation with holiday decorations or a monthly theme contributing to a positive work environment.”

Rowena also takes the time to ensure the people she supports are able to get to the State Fair. In her role as a motor vehicle operator, she had been known to load up a large bus and take a group of individuals.

In addition to her day job, Rowena is also a respite provider and is closely involved with one particular individual. Even when she is not "on duty,” she will often take time out of her personal life to be with, and support, this person.

While Rowena deeply cares for our individuals, she also genuinely cares for the staff she works with. Rowena is often the first person to step up and take a collection when her coworkers are out sick or are in need of additional support during a crisis.